Dateline Phoenix: We flew in last night and drove straight from the airport to the house that had been offered to us for the weekend – only to find it standing open, the kitchen window smashed and shards of glass everywhere, computer gone, printer gone, DVD players gone, and we didn’t know what-all else. Plus every drawer and cabinet had been yanked open. and darkness was comin’ on fast.
“I can’t stay here tonight!” I told old Dave.
“It’ll be fine” he told me back, which is what he says even when bits of your busted appendix start coming out your nose.
“Take me out to eat?” I squeaked, which seemed like a good plan to us both since we’d just come off a six-hour plan flight with no food on it. And when we came back a Parking Control truckidled by the house next door. We thought, Why not? so rolled on up and told our story to the cop inside it.
“DO NOT RE-ENTER THE HOUSE, HARM COULD COME TO YOU, REMAIN IN INSIDE YOUR VEHICLE!” she ordered us and quick as a wink called it in on her radio. And in about 20 minutes here came one Officer Kleck, crime-scene kit in hand.
“This must’ve been recent,” said Officer Kleck, standing between the smashed kitchen window and the open sliding door. “We’ve had some big winds lately and things would be really tossed around here otherwise.”
He let me walk with him him as he went around the house gathering evidence.
“Don’t you think this place is SCARY?” I said, trotting close begin him as David curled up on the couch and started watching sports on the one TV that must have been deemed to huge for them to take. “It’s like the Haunted Mansion! I mean most of the lights are burned out and there are those fliers plastered all over the front door… That’s how the thieves knew the place was empty huh?”
“Yep,” said Officer Kleck.
“Well so I don’t think we should sleep here because what if they COME BACK for what they missed?”
“Looks like they took all the DVDs,” he mused, examining a yanked-out drawer by the entertainment center.
Ah! So then maybe it was just kids, right?”
“Kids or tweekers.”
“You know: druggies; meth addicts,” he said.
“Oh GOD!” I said.
“They did leave this nice little flat screen TV behind,” he said, and that laptop over there so they COULD come back – but I’m betting they won’t.”
He went on taking pictures of the mess, then brought out his fingerprint kit and left some forms for the owners to fill out. Finally, in a burst of old fashioned chauvinism, he took down DAVID’S information, shook HIS hand and ambled on out to his cruiser.
“I’m pulling these fliers off the door right now so the bad guys will know the house is at least occupied!” I said to David – and saw right away on the smallest one a hand-written note, signed by the pool guy: “Side window broken, back door standing open,” it said, “8am October 30.”
I ran after Our Man Kleck with it, just as he was ready to pull away in his cruiser.
“Well this is great ’cause now we can pinpoint the time of the crime!” he said with a big smile, though he STILL didn’t ask MY name or shake MY hand.
He was one happy public servant, though not half as happy as I was. Because THIS meant the break-in happened almost a month ago! THAT”S why the lights were burned out! They’d broken in and at night and just left them all on! And come to look around a bit, the furniture was dusty as all-get-out from those big old winds he’d referred to!
By then it was full dark but within the next 30 minutes David had patched the window with cardboard, swept away the glass, cleaned up the entire house, and was sitting down again to watch the ballgame.
So what could I do but take my cue from him? “Oh well” I thought; crawled into the bed, slept like a baby the whole night through and woke feeling safe and grateful to see the sun shining on this pretty little scene out back.
Because it looks as though you can take the electronics and take the DVD’s and make one hell of a mess on the night of your crime besides but you still can’t steal the sunlight or the new morning that it shines on.